Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama's new trains

There you go Dina. You could be quickly in New Orleans for a romantic or fun filled weekend if Obama's high speed train plan comes to fruition. Looks like you could get to New York City quickly. Sorry Daisy, there doesn't seem to be much in it for you.

I can't really comment on the plans without doing some research and I am not for bothering, except this.

I read elsewhere about the construction costs, and they are extremely high . There is no high speed rail culture in the US, unlike Europe where they are very experienced at high speed rail and do it quite cheaply. The French know how to do it well. Rather than reinvent the wheel, just get French engineers to come over to the US and get busy. I think it would cost less and you can be assured, it will work.

It is criminal that there is not a high speed train between Sydney and Melbourne. I have heard that it is the busiest flight corridor in the world. I have also heard it is the fifth busiest air corridor in the world. Take you pick, but regardless, how good would be a high speed train from Southern Cross Station to Sydney Central, via Canberra I suppose for the pollies.

As I said, I am not so familiar with the US, but surely for the cost of all this bits of proposed lines, a high speed train could be built to link New York to California, alternate the trains between 'Frisco and LA perhaps. New York Central to the west coast in comfort and much less time than the drive to the airport in heavy traffic at each end, no bother with parking and check in and security. Just a very fast trip on tracks from the east to the west of the US, and vice versa.

18 comments:

  1. Well, I can see why they're not doing NY to California. That would be like us doing Brisbane to Perth. Even using high-speed trains, it's just never going to be time-competitive with flying, so it makes sense to concentrate on the short to medium distance trips, at least initially.

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  2. Australia's long distances means High Speed rail is a good idea...unfortunately we have a Labor government and like most labor goverments...they can't actually govern (let alone plan a train line). My suggestion is to give up hope all together.

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  3. Brilliant Daniel. Brisbane to Perth. In fact link all mainland capitals by high speed rail. Perhaps long distance can win on comfort, originating and terminating locations and food!. Get rid of all this plane travel between cap cities.

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  4. Yeah Reuben, I really hoped Rudd would lead a government with vision. The words are good, but what action? You would think I would know better at my age.

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  5. I'm excited about it.

    I don't drive on the highways because I'm a chicken. So it kind of limits me. I have to take a plane or depend on someone else. So, this would probably be good for me. I wonder how much it's going to cost. I HOPE it's less than a plane ride. Otherwise, outside of the eco benefits, it's so much more tempting to take the plane.

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  6. After my experience taking the high speed TGV from Strasbourg to Paris on a September day in 2007 (3 hours straight through), I feel I am definitely an expert on rail travel of all kinds. If I lived in Melbourne/Sydney and wanted to visit the other, I'd certainly consider a high-speed train to be a nicer option that air travel (too much blah with airports, more comfy), and much better than driving. But would it ever happen?

    The Gov here keep talking about bringing in a ("normal speed") passenger service between Hobart & Launceston, but given the Gov is having enough trouble maintaining the rail system for freight purposes, I'm highly skeptical.

    Just my 2¢...

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  7. The man has vision Dina. Whether it becomes a reality is another matter.

    Me, I can't see why the Melb Syd one couldn't. The lack of rail in Tasmania is absurd. Surely there should be a train connecting its two largest cities and then why not onto Devenport for ferry travellers.

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  8. Andrew... am with you re Sydney and Melbourne,,,,much needed

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  9. Just so long as he doesn't do anything stupid such as running them at low level towards Ground Zero without warning the panic-stricken residents first.

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  10. I like train rides, but if I were wanting to see a country I would rather do the road trip s I do not miss a thing. If it were just to get from A to B for business or shopping then FAST is the go :)

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  11. It looks as though it runs Columbus to Chicago, though, and I'm only 30 minutes from Columbus. I'll take it!

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  12. MC, how do you get to Melbourne then? Just curious.

    Yes Brian. They are very jumpy in NYC.

    And Cazzie, it is quite hard to see anything when on a high speed train.

    There you go Daisy. I took a stab in the dark and was wrong.

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  13. Yep, link up all the major capital cities with fast trains and watch the rural sectors flourish along the rail corridores!
    Do you think a rail link to Tassie will work if we get the drivers to take a really deep breath before they set out...? :P

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  14. Would have to be very fast for that Jayne and think of the wave that would follow.

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  15. We are always hearing about high speed links from Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra and with a stop at Goulburn for a replacement airport for Sydney Airport.

    I wouldn't hold my breath for a NSW Government to produce it though. Look at the complete mess they have made of the intended Parramatta to Chatswood line. Just a handful of kilometres in length which was halved to be Epping to Chatswood instead then cost twice as much and took twice as long to complete and now has such minor problems as

    - the line is too steep for existing carriages as well as the new carriages on order
    - the trains are noisier than landing planes
    - the tracks are not secure

    and no doubt other things we haven't been told about yet.

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  16. Jayne,

    lol about Tasmania. That was a horribly corny joke, but it cracked me up.

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  17. Would have to have Federal funding I guess Victor. I heard about the steepness problem. They are using some other trains or something like that.

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  18. They are using carriages from the Intercity service which do a shuttle from Epping to Chatswood (all of four stations, I think) until an integrated service with the rest of the system can be introduced.

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